The owner of a cat thought to have been viciously mauled by a dog wants other pet owners to be on their guard.
Suzanne O’Docherty, from Blenheim, popped out to the supermarket on Wednesday night, leaving her husband, Brian, watching the news.
But when she returned, 45 minutes later, she came back to the lifeless body of her beloved pet part-Maine Coon, Sparky, in their garden.
She is warning other pet owners to be on their guard
“It looked like he had been shaken and had his neck broken,” Suzanne says.
Suzanne says she thinks a dog that has been chased off their property before is responsible.
Husband Brian had already scared off the dog earlier that evening.
She doesn’t want to reveal the breed of the dog, as she believes the fault lies with the owners.
Now, Suzanne, who works at the SPCA opshop, says she’s afraid to adopt another pet, in case it happens again.
“This is the first time in my life that I haven’t had an animal,” she says.
Suzanne says dog control have been excellent, combing the streets for the offending canine.
After moving from a rental near the railway line, Suzanne says she loved the new quiet Redwoodtown neighbourhood.
“We loved this place, we thought Sparky would be safe.
“He was in his own yard; he hadn’t done anything.
“He wasn’t a wanderer.”
Suzanne says she has seen the dog around the neighbourhood several times.
“The dog is innocent,” she says.
“The fault falls on the owners, not the dog.
“The owners have a lot to answer for.
“There have been a few people in Blenheim who have had their pets attacked by dogs.”
The three-year-old tom cat originally belonged to Suzanne’s granddaughter.
“He was the most affectionate, loving animal we’ve ever had.”
“Sparky was a bit too trusting, but I’m worried it might happen again,” she says.